Memory usage too high?

Someone in a forum mentioned that his FF would use 0.5GB “just to write a post”. As I browser with Nightly and a 100+ tabs I can’t really compare. So I got the latest stable and checked the usage with a fresh install on macOS, no add-ons and only the one post open.
I was a bit shocked to see it has a memory usage of just over 600MB out of the box (real memory: ~950MB)

Checking again with 6 tabs open we are talking ~1.6GB (real memory ~2.4GB).

Is that normal?
I know from many tickets that a lot of work has been done to keep memory usage in check, and for some reason I expected it to be way lower. I often have to restart my FF DevTools at work using up to 8GB, but I thought it was only from a dozen extensions and my many tabs.

Sorry, the screenshot is in German. “Speicher” === Memory

It depends a lot on the website it is.
10 tabs with what websites?
If any has facebook, then it’s actually quite good and way better than chrome.
If they are all google homepage, then something is quite wrong.
Also, 0.5GB to write a post where? In this forum?
This Bulletin Board is not light at all. Even though it seems light, it has a LOT of libraries and code to make it work.

Hey brunoais,
Thanks for having a stab at this, and fair questions. I just opened FF stable with a few random not too heavy websites, some rather light, no GMail or such a like.
Just to clarify, I am web developer for a while, so I got a rough idea about page weight :wink:
I think the forum was a several MB heavy website, still, starting off with 400 - 500MB simply surprised me and I wanted to check if someone agreed, or not. TBH without any (own) plugins installed I expected no more than 250MB.

I checked it now again, reset the browser, cleared all cookies, data and history, without any additional tab and only the initial about:blank open a minute after the start. These are the processes (on macOS):

  • Firefox => ~210MB (real memory ~270MB)
  • FirefoxCP Web Content => ~110MB (rm ~170MB)
  • FirefoxCP Web Content => ~20MB (rm ~60MB)
  • FirefoxCP WebExtensions => ~35MB (rm ~85MB)

adding up to ~375MB (rm ~585MB) from the ground up.

Also, no need to compare with Chrome*. This is my tool of choice. I am using “this” browser since Netscape 4.5 and won’t change any time soon.

*Update: While you brought it up I couldn’t help but check and these are the numbers when I fire up Chrome (rearly use it, so not much to clean here) with its initial standard tab loaded: 6 processes, ~160MB memory (rm ~350MB), with the main process being 60MB (rm 125MB).

Thanks for that memory use data.
I don’t use Mac so I don’t have any idea how much RAM are both the window manager and display manager requiring from firefox.

In linux, running fxce4 and conditions as you tried. Values taken from Htop; running 72.0.2 (64-bit), only looking at the memory in use.

Firefox => 146.99MB
FirefoxCP Web Content => 30,08
FirefoxCP Web Content => 44,00
FirefoxCP Web Content => 33,74
FirefoxCP WebExtensions => 7,77
TOTAL => 262,58 MB

Then, I ran the garbage collector a couple times:
Firefox => 143.46MB
FirefoxCP Web Content => 27,08
FirefoxCP Web Content => 41,00
FirefoxCP Web Content => 32,77
FirefoxCP WebExtensions => 7,77
TOTAL => 252,08 MB

GC didn’t help much here…But I think you can get the point. The fact it is running in a MacOS can be part of the reason for so much RAM usage.

I believe the major takeaway here is that different OS will require different work internals from firefox and hence different amount of memory. In my PC, it’s running natively, on MacOS maybe there’s some confinement software doing some kind of work? Just speculating anyway.

I don’t have google chrome installed and I don’t want it here…

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